Let’s make sure we understand each other. Integration is about taking disparate parts of your psyche and integrated them into a meaningful whole. It is an act of reconstituting the self.

Integration is the process of combining various aspects of one’s personality, beliefs, or experiences and forming these into a cohesive and unified being.

It comes from the idea that people have distinct parts or aspects of themselves that don’t always work together harmoniously.

For example, a person may have conflicting beliefs or values, or they may have experiences which have left them feeling fragmented or disconnected. Often such persons are easily “hooked” by circumstances into responses which do not match the context before them.

So how does this happen? The short answer is Life.

A child arrives with an inborn temperament full of potential and possibilities. Ask any parent what is the same about their children and in no time, they will tell you what is different. Each child is a unique being, never seen before and never to be seen again.

Add to this, epigenetic influences on ancestral DNA affect your methyl groups. Methylation will turn on or off some of chromosomes in response to the environment, minimizing or exaggerating responses.

This is one way generational pain transfers from parents and grandparents to their descendants, a process exacerbated by the child’s inborn sense of justice. Let me explain.

Imagine three puppets sitting in a circle in front of some kids. The puppet in the middle takes a ball and rolls it to the puppet on the right, and that puppet rolls the ball back. Then the middle puppet rolls the ball to the puppet on the left and that puppet fucks off with the ball.

Afterwards, the well behaved and misbehaved puppets are placed before the kids with a cookie in front of each puppet. Each child is invited to take ONE cookie from the puppet of their choice.

Which puppet does the child take the cookie from?

If you answered, the misbehaved puppet, you would be correct more than 80% of the time, according to author of Just Babies, Yale University’s Paul Bloom.

We are talking one-year-olds, who Bloom says already have a rudimentary sense of compassion and even empathy, as well as a moral sense, and already know a bit about right and wrong.

Things usually go OK until the kid starts moving around more at age 3 or 4 years old. Then for his own safety, his caregivers direct him to behave certain ways, both for survival reasons and to socialize the kid so others will tolerate him as he grows (and help keep him alive).

Most parents and caregivers use a threat and reward approach. You do as I say, and you get my acceptance. This carrot and stick methodology works. Problems arise when a child’s caregivers use approaches that are beyond the child’s level of cognitive ability and emotional comprehension.

Children experience families physically. They attune to parents, especially the mother (the most important relationship).

At first, a child will use their innate sense of justice to resist, but soon they must give in to their caregiver’s demands. They have little choice: It is this caregiver upon whom they depend for their entire succorance. For life itself.

To pull off that neat little psychological two-step and allow the caregivers to prevail longer term, we incorporate this language-based operating system, usually in the left brain for 95% of people, as something Jung called the conforming ego. Freud referred to it as the superego.

The ego, or integrated nervous system, denies, distorts, and represses inner and/or outer reality to lessen anxiety and depression (Both are future-based problems).

The conforming ego is a lot like ghost-like voices of your parents and other caregivers pushing you around.

Get occasional imposter syndrome? Thank your caregivers.

Do you live with the dread that if people find out that you are not what you want them to believe about you… that they will stop loving you and abandon you? Thank your caregivers.

Feel a deep shame and brokenness? Thank the adults around you when you were a kid.

You cannot get away from belonging, from an existence that involves others. Our need to belong is #1 and underpins the whole emotional system.

When we connect, we feel good. If we disconnect, we feel bad.

The goal of integration is to reconcile these different parts and achieve wholeness and coherence. This can involve exploring and acknowledging all aspects of oneself, including the difficult or uncomfortable parts, and finding ways to integrate them into a more complete sense of self.

“A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.” – Jordan Peterson

Maybe, maybe not. Certainly, true for a Type One Nice Guy. (yours truly) But this quote speaks to the same process for all of us…

For the psyche is indiscriminate in the way it goes about fracturing itself into pieces and hiding them deep in the recesses of your mind.

What I mean is that it hides some of your good along with what it rejects as whatever perceived malevolence you may or may not have been dealing with in the moment as your younger self.

The problem with this is that over years and decades, that kind of compartmentalizing starts to wear down its container and bust out at the seams. You get leakage…

These hidden parts act out increasingly as you age. Louder, more insistent, more demanding, and increasingly with bad timing.

I know you know what I mean…

So you must do the work. No way around it.

And it will be the best work you ever do.

Your masculine destiny depends on it.

Questions? Thoughts? Comments?

true and free…

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